Truck Accidents in Construction Zones
Road construction can cause bottlenecks and backed up traffic. These create additional pressure and danger, especially if commercial trucks — big rigs, semis, 18-wheelers, or tractor-trailers — are on the road. A moment's inattention can result in a driver or passenger in a smaller vehicle suffering catastrophic injuries or a wrongful death. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a truck accident in a construction zone, you may have a basis to sue for damages. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago truck accident attorneys are able to provide tough, aggressive legal representation in these cases.Cases Arising from Truck Accidents in Construction Zones
Commercial trucks are dangerous based on their size and weight. In a construction zone, they become even more dangerous. Among the reasons for the added risk and danger is that traffic stops unexpectedly in construction zones. It takes much more effort to stop a big, heavy commercial truck than smaller vehicles. An irresponsible truck driver who falls asleep in traffic, is buzzed, or texts while moving through stop and go traffic can cause tremendous devastation. Additionally, construction workers are particularly vulnerable to getting hit based on a truck driver not slowing down appropriately. In other cases, it is the construction crew that makes a mistake and fails to provide the appropriate signage and notice to drivers.
Often, it is necessary for your attorney to investigate the cause of the accident. Companies and drivers may look aggressively for some way to pin the blame on someone other than themselves. During a lawsuit, there may be a fair amount of finger pointing by the truck driver, the trucking company, and the construction company. It may be necessary to retain an accident reconstruction specialist to determine what happened and when.
To hold a truck driver liable for the accident, it is usually necessary to establish the truck driver's negligence. This requires us to show that the truck driver owed you a duty of care, the truck driver breached the duty of care, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages. A breach of the duty of care can be as simple as failing to follow a sign that asks drivers to slow down in the construction zone. It could also involve playing with one's cell phone, failing to leave enough space between the truck and the car in front to brake if needed, or driving drunk.
It may also be possible to hold the trucking company indirectly or directly liable. The trucking company can be held vicariously liable if the truck driver was in the scope of employment when the accident in the construction zone happened. Additionally, a trucking company can be held directly liable for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent training. For example, if a trucking company looked the other way during the hiring process despite a truck driver's record of DUIs, and then the driver causes an accident in a construction zone because he is buzzed and unable to stop the vehicle in time, the trucking company could be held liable for negligent hiring.
There are situations in which a construction company or the owner of the road may be liable for injuries arising out of a truck accident in a construction zone. This is why it is critical to retain an attorney who has strong relationships with qualified accident reconstruction specialists. An accident reconstruction specialist can look at whether the construction company or road owner's acts or omissions contributed to the resulting truck accident. For example, a construction company's failure to put up signs to regulate traffic may be negligent.Hire a Truck Crash Lawyer in the Chicago Area
If you were injured in a truck accident in a construction zone in Chicago, you should consult an experienced motor vehicle collision attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we also represent people in Aurora, Springfield, Champaign, Rockford, and Quincy, as well as other cities in Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Champaign, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. You can call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation, or contact us online.